Cocker Spaniel breed information

2 minute read

All of our content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts

Smart, sociable and plenty of fun, here’s everything you need to know on a Cocker Spaniel’s personality, health traits and more.  

  • Cocker Spaniels are intelligent, sociable and family-friendly
  • Their history as a gundog means they need plenty of exercise 
  • They love attention and being around people – especially during playtime

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel personality

The Cocker Spaniel personality is certainly a boisterous one. A member of the gundog family, these excitable dogs are full of life and eager to please. 

As one of the bigger Spaniels, they can be a little boisterous but are loyal and intelligent too. Originally bred as retrievers, a Cocker’s natural instincts to hunt means they have tons of energy. This can easily be channelled into sports or obedience training. 

A Cocker Spaniel has a gentle personality. They’re an easy-going breed and perfect for families. That said, with such a sensitive temperament, they can sometimes snap or growl when afraid – so be mindful of how you train your dog. 

These plucky characters love attention and play sessions . Having a garden for them to run around in will help but they will still need daily walks to burn off their limitless energy.

Spaniels are good with children and other pets , but can get a little nervous around strangers and larger dogs – be sure to fit plenty of socialising into your pup’s life to get them used to being around those they don’t know. 

A well-treated Cocker Spaniel is a pleasure to own, with a cheerful, loving temperament. If you want more information on how to get your new pet settled in, read our simple guide. 

Did you know? 

"Cocker" comes from the bird woodcock, which these dogs used to flush out for hunters. 

Cocker Spaniel health facts

  • Size: Medium
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Coat: Medium, with a daily groom and a regular trip to the groomers
  • Exercise: Up to an hour a day for adults

Common Cocker Spaniel health problems and ailments

Cocker Spaniels can be prone to some common health ailments. It’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms and regularly check your dog’s overall health.

These are few of the more common ailments a Cocker Spaniel may suffer from:

  • Eye problems

Like many breeds, Cockers can be affected by several common eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy. These can all lead to blindness if left untreated.

  • Ear conditions

With large ears, Cocker Spaniels are more susceptible to ear problems than most. Swollen ears can mean blockages, haematomas or inner-ear infections. Contact your vet if you notice a difference with your dog’s ears.

  • Slipped discs

Being an active breed, Cockers can suffer from slipped discs caused by injury or age. A slipped disc can lead to spinal problems or further back injuries. Treatment may include physiotherapy, medication or surgery.

  • Hip dysplasia

A common problem caused by an abnormality in the joint, hip dysplasia can sometimes lead to arthritis in later life.

Cocker Spaniel diet

A nutritious, balanced diet rich in essential proteins, vitamins and fibre is the best way to keep your Cocker happy and healthy.

High-quality dog food that contains both meats and vegetables will help keep your dog fit, as well as keeping that lovely coat smooth and shiny.

Cocker Spaniels can be prone to weight gain if their diet contains too much fat. Be sure to regulate what your pup is eating and keep portion size under control. Follow the recommendations on the packet if you aren’t sure how much food to feed your dog.

Of course, how much food a dog needs will differ with age. Younger dogs and puppies require slightly more to help them grow, while older, less active dogs need less to keep them healthy into their old age.

Cocker Spaniel pet insurance

Pet insurance can give you peace of mind when it comes to your pup’s health. Knowing that the costs of any potential treatments or medication is covered can provide a welcome relief if you’re rushing to the vets.

A Cocker Spaniel’s pet insurance can vary in cost, depending on factors including the age of your dog and where you live.

Most providers will also offer a variety of cover-types, ranging from 12-month spells to lifetime pet insurance cover. There is also third-party liability cover to consider, which protects you if your dog causes damage to someone else, or their property and you're found legally responsible.

For more information on insuring your family’s new addition, check out dog insurance from LV=

All content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts. 

LV= is not responsible for content on third party websites.